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Stand Ready to Defend the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), Which Might Come Under Attack

Stand ready to defend the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) from renewed assault by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and members of the House of Representatives.

One of the first things that the House of Representatives did in 2017 was attempt to kill the OCE, an independent ethics office created in 2008 in the wake of scandals that sent three MoCs to jail. Bob Goodlatte, a Republican house rep from Virginia, led the effort to neuter the office in a closed-door meeting on January 2.

An immediate outcry ensued. It was overshadowed by Trump jumping in to defend the OCE, and news reports gave him most of the credit for its survival. In truth, that response was the first real blow struck by the infant Resistance movement, who were alerted by news articles and the alarms sounded by watchdog groups.

Goodlatte, Speaker Ryan, and their ilk calculated that they would succeed because the OCE is seen as an annoyance by MoCs from both sides of the aisle. The sudden, sharp outcry convinced them to leave the office alone and try to “reform” it at “a future date.”

We thought that House Republicans might renew their attack under the cover of summer, hoping we’d be distracted by the general news slowdown and by our vacations. Mitch McConnell’s delay of recess for the Senate put paid to that. The house recessed on time and did not attack the OCE. But it is still vulnerable.

We at OTYCD are asking you to stand ready to defend the OCE and its valuable work.

Right now, you can call your house rep and speak up in favor of the OCE.

Sample script: “Dear House Rep (Lastname), I am from (town, zip code) and I am calling to speak up in favor of the Office of Congressional Ethics and its valuable work. You might recall that House Rep Bob Goodlatte led an effort to kill the OCE in early January, when the house came back into session following the holiday recess. The ensuing outcry forced Goodlatte and friends to abandon their efforts, but they said they would try again at a future time. I am concerned that they might be ready to aim their guns at the OCE again. I want to urge you to resist any efforts to kill or cripple the office. Thank you for listening.”

You can also like the OCE’s web page:

https://www.facebook.com/OfficeofCongressionalEthics/

And follow the OCE on Twitter:

@CongressEthics

Read about the January efforts by members of the House of Representatives to kill or cripple the OCE:

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/office-of-congressional-ethics-what-does-it-do-233128

http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/01/house-gop-votes-to-gut-independent-congressional-ethics-office

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/house-republicans-vote-eviscerate-office-congressional-ethics/

Also see articles that mention Trump’s tweet about the OCE, and articles that question whether he should get the credit for saving it:

https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2017-01-03/house-gop-votes-to-gut-independent-ethics-office

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/opinion-la/la-ol-trump-ethics-20170103-story.html